When A Raivenne Gets An Idea…

It’s October. Halloween is a couple of weeks away. I write Sherlock fanfic. So I asked myself, “Self, what would the classic Sherlock Holmes thinking pose look like on a skeleton?”

Naturally, nothing I wanted came premade, ready to hang. It Joanne’s, Michael’s, Amazon and even IKEA to create it. Even with ample ventilation I feel I will be smelling spray paint for days. It took several passes to get the pieces, especially the hands that dark.

It’s not exactly as I imagined it. And I am not sure, Jeremy Brett, Nigel Rathbone or even Benedict Cumberbatch would think much of it, but I love it.

Et tu Taxes

According to Wiki: The Ides of March is a day on the Roman calendar that corresponds to the 15th of March. It was marked by several religious observances and was notable for the Romans as a deadline for settling debts.

Friends, Romans but specifically Americans know that, with some exceptions, April 15th is Tax Day in the U.S.  Tax Day is the date in which whether you owe Uncle Sam (the anthropomorphize avatar of the US government) or Uncle Sam owes money, you grin and bare/bear it and have to have your taxes filed.

I mostly remember the Ides these days because my mother was one of those people who though having received her W-2 at the end of January, would still wait until April 14th to mail in her taxes.

In elementary school most of us learn about Julius Caesar and his infamous last words when his supposed rod dog/main bro Brutus turned coat on him and just watched him get shanked on March 15th. <– Like my revisionist history? I once made a joke that Mach 15th was the 30 day warning bell. Mommy knew she had a month to get her taxes in order. My mother would have loved that Tax Day is on April 18th this year for it would have given her two more days of procrastination.

And why all of that? Because somehow a discussion on taxes came up while attending the repast of an erstwhile colleague.

Death and Taxes – get it? Get it?

Yeah, yeah, yeah – I know, bad Raivenne, bad! I’ll go bed now.


Today is Day 15 – The Ides of March Slice Of Life Story Challenge. 
Come see how others are slicing it up today.
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Say What Now?

Rant Time:

I’m beyond sick and tired of reactionary memes and posts meant to shame how some people use their social media.

For example, seeing posts criticizing others for being upset over a celebrity’s death when there are wars going on and humanitarian crises all over the place that they should take precedence. Or a meme citing how one is annoyed with people talking about the Housewives of Wherever controversy as if in discussing what happened it somehow means they aren’t paying attention to the world around them and other far more important things going on.

Don’t like what they have to say? Scroll.

To hell with social media policing those only want to post about their family, their pets, their insignificant and significant others. Let them post cute puppies and cats and pandas and zombies and… Let them share their joys in peace. This mindset that one’s head is in the clouds if they aren’t posting relentlessly about every awful blessed thing going on in the world. That doesn’t mean they’re ignoring anything;  we do not know what exists in their lives beyond their FB page. Perhaps some only want to use their social media for more lighthearted fare because they are in fact having those heavy-as-shit conversations elsewhere, with loved ones, or through messenger, or out in the real world. Let them have their joys.

Don’t like what they have to say? Scroll on.

To hell with policing those who choose to post their their hurt, their rage. Maybe it’s self care; maybe they struggle with anxiety, and curating their social media to mitigate their rage is in fact a survival mechanism. A survival mechanism which keeps them from being the example for or against gun control that’s next trending the news feed.

Don’t like what they have to say? Scroll. The. Hell. On.

My Facebook, WP blog , Instagram and Twitter pages all represent one thing and one thing only: the views of  the owner of those pages – me.

So here’s a News flash: Those pages are not a democracy.

Sometimes friends/people post things that leave me scratching my head. If I don’t understand or don’t agree, I don’t spew on their page – ever. I may private message someone if I think I am the one misunderstanding something and meaningful dialog can come from it – otherwise I scroll, scroll on.

(Giving away my vintage here: I just sang those last three words in tune to The Floaters – “Float On“, but I digress…)

Seriously, Quid Pro scroll, bro.

Raivenne posts are a monarchy and I am its Empress. 

If my posts impress, excellent, but I know sometimes they will depress. I know sometimes they will inflame. When that happens – and it will – if you don’t like it, then please scroll away, scroll away, scroll away.

(Anyone Enya guess what song went through my head just then? But I digress – again…)

I will be just fine – trust me.

Don’t like…

  • when I deleted your comment on my post because I thought it was cruelly offensive?
  • if I choose to ignore your inflammatory Xsplainin’ comment on my X-subject post because I refuse to be drawn into yet another useless argument?
  • that I’m still upset over Chester Bennington’s suicide?
  • my sarcastic answer to those stupid FB question?

It’s my page, my posts. Think about it – that Send/Post/Publish button was not pressed by accident.

The land of Raivenne is a dictatorship and I am its ruling dick. 

(Yes, I made a dick joke – a dumb one at that. Don’t let the fact that I have a vagina, lead to the falsehood that my balls aren’t bigger.)

Don’t like it? Well, you know what to do….


Today is Day 14 of the March Slice Of Life Story Challenge. 
Come see how others are slicing it up today.
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Is It Only Pretty In Pink?


A friend posted the following on her Facebook…

I was at work at the time and could not view it. I actually forgot about it and did not actually see the video until a day or so later.

At first I just rolled my eyes, but then I just saw red.

A different friend had the same initial reaction I had in thinking how men around the world are a huge reason for a lot of the fucked up shit we females go through when it comes to feminine beauty down to our vaginas. Over the years I have come across articles, advertisements, with commentary on what should be the labia color, labia size, to be or not to be hirsute, its vaginal canal width, depth, the proper moisture discharge and content and of course the natural scent of a woman. I suppose with so many cultures using complexion lighteners to attain the presumed ideal (read pink) beauty, I honestly cannot say that I am truly surprised by this. However, I am appalled and frankly disgusted at the depth of how -well- deep this desire, this need to achieve this presumed ideal for even our most intimate of places can go. Stop the madness.

This brought up some far from scientific, but highly interesting conversation twixt various friends of all genders over the next few days. In one such conversation I groused on how most CIS men seem to behave as though any vagina that does not look like a Georgia O’Keeffe painting is unworthy. Of course one of my idiot male friends sarcastically asked then, which artist I felt best represented mine. Me, being me, immediately replied “Rorsach”. When asked to elaborate I said “Each person sees something different in my lips.”

And calling spades what they are, the ones who are doing this are likely doing do to obtain some ideal to beings who should have no say in this very specific so of our bodies whatsoever, not that they should have it in any other, but really absolutely none right here  – and yes I mean men. Because as misandry filled as this is to say – no woman is likely going through labia bleaching, labiaplasty, vajazzling, and/or any other nonsense some women do to alter themselves from what nature intended, for another woman. It’s bad enough we have legal legislation, by mostly men, trying to rule on that what comes out of of our bodies.

Now we have to put up with social legislation on how it should look before going in?! Stop the madness.

I mean seriously, we women go through enough shit on the daily with regards to our bodies on the parts that every one can see. Are you effing kidding me that it has come literally down to that level?That some women have been made to feel so insecure about the appearance of their labia that they would subject themselves to that? Stop the madness!

Because it seems to me if you’ve been invited to see this woman that up close and personal that you can make comparisons you should praising your local deity for the honors and shut the fuck up! Preferably by putting your lips on mine since you’re down there I’m just saying…

And speaking of IJS – Stop that madness.

Writing Our Lives #52essays2017 challenge – Week 11


A year-long weekly personal essay/memoir/creative nonfiction writing challenge. To learn more about this challenge or to participate, check out Vanessa Martir’s website and learn about it.

One Monkey Part Deux


The following is the post I wanted to submit for Day 4, but it was well after 11pm when I started typing. I knew and knew it would not be done by midnight – so here we are..


My sons and I enter a diner on the Upper West Side after seeing “Logan”. Usually having a both available it was surprisingly crowded so relented to being seated at a table in a tight corner adjacent to a table with a solo diner. As I squeezed into the corner, the back of  my coat brushed against a coat laying across the back of a chair at that table. The owner of said coat, an older caucasian male apparently not liking that my down coat made contact with his , shoved the chair in a way that caused the chair to strike me in my left cheek. 

I was in a good mood, I was with my boys and some people are just assholes. I said a pointed “Excuse me!” at his rudeness and started removing my coat. I  heard him speaking to the busboy, but was not really paying heed until I saw the busboy bring him a damp paper towel to which he proceeded to wipe down his coat.

Wait, what…? 

My eldest was standing next to me with his back to the man and did not see it, but by the way my youngest’s entire demeanor changed as we sat down, I could tell he had and that I was not imagining things.  It’s not as though the coat somehow slipped to the floor when I passed and was now dirty, the man was wiping it down because my down coat covered ass accidentally brushed up against his down coat.

I glared at the man about to say “You know even if I touched it directly, my Black won’t rub off on it, right?” when several thoughts rapidly crossed my mind…

.0001 seconds: Fucker, I should take your coat and drop it on the floor. Then it will need the wiping. 
.001 seconds: We’re on the only people of color in this place who aren’t workers here. Let’s not get ethnic and become dinner gossip fodder.
.01 seconds: I don’t have bail money.

Determined not to live up to the stereotype, instead I turned my face to the window the fingers of my right striking the table with a rapid steady staccato that put both sons on notice, my youngest grabbed my other hand to keep me, or perhaps himself, from getting up.  It became a bigger issue when the man spoke to the busboy and got up from the table to stand-off to the side. The diner’s greeter/host came to inquire and while the man’s voice was too low for me to hear, he waved his hand between our table and his with obvious disdain. Whatever the man said to him, the host clearly was not getting it.

“He can’t sit at that table anymore because we’re sitting at this one.” I spoke up indicating both tables. At the host’s continued lack of comprehension I expanded further “He was fine until you sat us here, now he has a problem and cannot sit there.” I can see understanding cross the latino busboy’s face as he looked from the man to us,then locked eyes with me and gave a sad little knowing smile “You get it don’t you?” He nodded once before clearing away an adjacent table.

The man stood there for quite a while, glaring at us, before going to stand in another section of the restaurant. I suspect he was hoping either he or we would be reseated elsewhere. The place was packed with people waiting by the door for a table – it wasn’t going to happen. The host, finally getting the gist of the situation, came over to us. I distinctly heard him call the man “scum” under his breath before asking if we were ready to order. All in all, glaring beside, it’s as though the man somehow knew not to say anything to us directly. I could all but guarantee you that had he said anything to us we did not like, all bets were off. Alas, God protects fools and children, and he was not a child.

Normally, after a movie, I’m famished and looking forward to a good nosh.  Not surprising the three of us suddenly had little appetite. We had not even picked up the menus to peruse the options. Yet, the three of us knew –  to get up and leave means he wins, and we were not having that. We eventually each ordered something. Still, something of a pall -perhaps because we were appalled?-  loomed over the remainder of dinner that we could not fully ease even with his eventual departure.

In the interim,  my thoughts and our conversation filtered through how our reactions may have been different were we three train stations north in Harlem, versus the posh Upper West Side. Would we have been more boisterous in expressing our anger if we were, say, in a McDonald’s as opposed to a nice diner? Would I have policed myself had it be I alone confronted with him? For that is what is was, self-policing. Or perhaps by silencing the stream of viciousness going through my head in that moment clamouring to get out God was protecting the three of us.  Either way it sticks in my craw a little even now hours later.

To top it all off, in the Insult to Injury Files – upon receiving the check, the host, this same one who called the man “scum” earlier came to our table to explain to us that the man was actually a germophobe and that was excuse for behaving the way he did.  And with a page right out of Get Smart the host had the nerve to end it with “And would you believe he’s a doctor?” He must have seen the triple sets of deep eyerolls calling him out on the bullshit of his, well, bullshit as he apologized and walked away. Even the busboy, who again happened to be near our table and heard it, just kind of looked at his boss as if to say oh please! 

Last month there was a mini documentary of sorts circling the web where African-American celebrities told of The First Time I Realized I Was Black. Ging through the various stories, it was poignant, it raised some ire, some sadness and memories. Were I asked, I may not recall the very first time, but thanks to this one man, I can tell you the most recent.

10th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge! – DAY 5

The Distance

I cringe at the horizon that gives me pause as I sit on a crescent ledge and stew over the possibilities. There be giant monsters here.  I only need to travel a short distance, but the terrain from when I last visited this place has changed. The comfort of the familiar, now replaced by the exotic of a new clime.  Longanimity among my kind has made me tough, but cautious. I know how dangerous it can be, but I will not let fear be the pasty jailer that holds me back. Belatedly, I remember I was out in the open while my mind filtered through various strategies when the world vibrates in sound and a rapidly approaching darkness looms over head.

I’ve been seen by one of the giants that roam here. Death is all but a certainty when afflatus strikes and I make a run across the emerald landscape for the crevice ahead. The blast of air that propels me toward my goal is only equal in terror to the noise of the impact narrowly missing where I just stood.  I skitter into the narrow space between counter and the oven, hearing the giant bellow in frustration as I drop out of reach.



Yes, this from the view of the cockroach.
I fully bless (blame?) the Wordle graphic for the inspiration.


Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie | Weekly Wordle #145

Crescent, Exotic, Ledge, Longanimity, Filter, Stew, Pasty, Afflatus, Emerald, Jailer, Cringe, Noise

Use at least 10 of the words to create a story or poem. The words can appear in an alternate form, in any order that you like.

Hair We Go

Deepica Mutyala a noted stylist on NBC’s “Today” show had a segment on August 3rd, where she styled different women’s hair into simple “One Minute Summer Hair” looks mostly meant to be done after a swim or on humid days when your original style isn’t going to make it through the day.  Only when it came the African-American model Malyia’s hair – she failed – completely.

Facebook user Joeline Payton posted a video of the segment with the caption “I need answers” and it has understandably gone viral.   I want to be fair and say I’m sure her intentions were good. And I was note overly impressed with the rope-braid style given the Asian woman either, but when it came to Malyia’s hair – what the fuck was she thinking?

Maliya actually had a cute curly style to start with, only to have it horrifically mangled, live on national television nonetheless. into something that looked like the early morning hangover aftermath bedhead of a rough night. There are discarded dolls in an attic or basements with hair that looked better. Hell, Halley Berry’s crack addict hair in “Jungle Fever” was better coiffed than that.

First Deepeica tried to pull the curls into a side ponytail high on the head. No grown woman has worn her hair like that since the 90’s and no woman with natural hair like the model Maliya’s at all.  The amount of rough tugging, brushing and pulling, it would take to get natural to look like that would cause so much damage, we simply wouldn’t do it. It was painfully clear that Mutyala does not know how to work with black natural textured hair when she pulled apart the curls to fluff out bangs and just gave up in the middle of it. To be blunt Deepica Mutyala fucked that model’s hair up and tried to pass that shit off as a style. It was brutal to watch the model sit there with a pasted on smile through Mutyala manipulations. Granted, she’s a model and her job is to sit there, smile and look gorgeous no matter what, because a girl has to get paid (/Jaqen H’ghar voice <– a Game of Thrones reference for those who didn’t get it). Still, she had to know how messed-up her hair looked in the “after”. I understand Maliya defended Mutyala afterward, but when that segment was over and she looked in a mirror, saw the hot ass mess made of her hair, she grabbed the first thing smoking back to the Bronx, Brooklyn or Harlem to get her hair done right!

I mean just because you know how to fry chicken does not mean you know how to make duck a l’orange. If Deepica Mutyala had any respect for her craft she would not have touched Maliya’s hair. A simple “You know what? Your style is perfect as it. I really don’t need to do anything here.” would have sufficed. Granted, we’d all still know Mutyala knows nothing of natural black hair, but she at least would still have our respect for having the sense not to go into a kitchen in which she does not know how to cook. If Mutyala can’t work with ALL hair types, she does not deserve to be called an “expert”. She should not be on TV promoting her expertise in such for her embarrassing demonstration was a far, far cry from such.

Stop History Repeating

Sunday morning was not some knuckle head popping off a couple of rounds in drunken celebration, but an intentional act to eradicate as many people as possible in a club of smiling, happy, dancing people for no other reason than the patronage of Pulse, where Sunday’s massacre happened, are known to be gay. It’s no coincidence Mateen’s attack took place where it did and when it did, he had been there before and knew he would find a lot of people there.

That he was on a federal watch list yet was able to purchase his assault rifle and handgun legally. This post is not about gun control. This nation still argues over the accessibility of guns and I will leave that there with them.

On its website, Pulse, describes itself as “a place of fun and fantasy.” It was anything but as Omar Siddiqui Mateen killed at least 50 people and wounded 53 others in what is the deadliest mass shooting in US history.  We have a history of attacks against the gay community – Roanoke, VA 2000, Atlanta 1997, New Orleans 1973, Stonewall 1969 – those are the major news making events, but there are countless others; some make the headlines, but the majority of the day-to-day-to-day conflicts do not.

The news reports are quick to report Omar Siddiqui Mateen’s Islamic ties; but his religion had nothing to do with his actions. They also report how he was born in New York – as though that should automatically negate his potential to hate gays; I wish. Omar’s father is quoted as saying he was shocked and saddened to learn that his only son is behind the carnage at Pulse. He does not believe his son was radicalized. Apparently, the final straw for Omar Mateen was walking along the street and seeing two men kissing.  So whether Mateen’s killings were a product of religious leanings or abject homophobia it is undeniably a hate crime. And that is where history repeats itself anew.

We repeat these histories through the generations in finding different ways to spread the same hates. Not always recognizing it for what it is until the damage is done. Still we try to do better. And for the most part we do succeed. It is why when the horrible things such as Orlando happen we do recognize it for what it is. We know that this is not our norm and we can/should do better.

That this attack occurs at a time when the country is celebrating LGBT Pride month, is another twist of the dagger in the collective hearts of those of us who mourn for Orlando.  In the wake of this, it’s a given LGBT venues across the country will be tightening their security in preparation for Pride celebrations.

While Mateen’s killing spree was focused on the LGBT community, it affects us all because what he did attacks what we hold most dear – the right to live freely, the right to live openly.  The right to go out and party without fear is a pursuit of happiness.

Whether one believes that the LGBT community is sinning against God or believes that people love who they love and it’s all good is not at the issue here.  Agree or disagree, that is fine.  We don’t have to like it, but we don’t need to hate it.

Omar Siddiqui Mateen damn sure did not need to repeat history, hating it to the point that he felt the only recourse is to murder these people:

Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old
Amanda Alvear, 25 years old
Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26 years old
Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33 years old
Antonio Davon Brown, 29 years old
Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old
Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28 years old
Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25 years old
Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old
Cory James Connell, 21 years old
Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old
Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old
Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31 years old
Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old
Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old
Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 years old
Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old
Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old
Frank Hernandez, 27 years old
Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old
Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 years old
Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old
Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old
Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25 years old
Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old
Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old
Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49 years old
Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 years old
Kimberly Morris, 37 years old
Akyra Monet Murray, 18 years old
Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 years old
Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25 years old
Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old
Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old
Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old
Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old
Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27 years old
Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 years old
Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 years old
Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24 years old
Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old
Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old
Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old
Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24 years old
Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 years old
Luis S. Vielma, 22 years old
Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 years old
Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old
Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 years old


“They are more than a list of names. They are people who loved and who were loved.”
— Anderson Cooper

“Love is love is love is love is love,
and love cannot be killed or swept aside.
Fill the world with music, love and pride.”

— Lin-Manuel Miranda



Slice of Life Writing Challenge | Two Writing Teachers

Makes Me Want To Holler – Again

zimmermanGeorge Zimmerman puts gun that killed Trayvon Martin up for auction

“I am honored and humbled to announce the sale of an American Firearm Icon,” Zimmerman wrote in his online description of the weapon.

Are you fucking kidding me?!

This man used that gun to take a child’s life. Clearly Zimmerman’s only remorse is the infamy the trial has awarded him because of it. And in case you miss my sarcasm, he has no remorse.

Every time I hear Zimmerman’s name I have to beg forgiveness for the thoughts that come into my mind.  The idea that someone will bid on it, will actually buy it – I cannot begin to express the rage that fills me anew right now.  I wonder what the jury that acquitted him must feel of their decision in light of this bullshit.

When people say Karma will get him, I generally nod in agreement. However, days like this, my faith in Karma and her twisted shenanigans wavers greatly and I doubt whether I will ever see that happen.  Should I be so lucky, I am not going to lie – schadenfreude will be on full force that day.

I also cannot help, but think that was Trayvon Martin a white teen, that Zimmerman would be seen as a Hispanic thug killing innocent kids in a family oriented community. Alas, a white man “defending himself” is how it goes down in the official records. Situations like this reinforce the idea of how little a black life is worth in some eyes, how Zimmerman’s auction devalues Martin’s life even further, to the point of blatant mockery.

What profit’s a man indeed.

The fact that Zimmerman is walking around a free man doing this. Yes, he’s an American. Yes, he is well within his rights to do this.

To the person who purchases it – if your intent is anything other than to destroy the gun so no one else will profit off Trayvon Martin’s life – you are par of the problem.

I wonder what the general mood would be if O.J. Simpson auctioned off the infamous glove.



With today being St. Patrick’s Day all seasoned New York evening commuters understand the shenanigans entailed with such. We smile and tolerate the over friendly, over inebriated, but otherwise harmless over-celebrants who cross out paths. Sometimes we may have to cuss out those who are not so friendly drunks. On occasion we may snap a picture of the drooling drunk out cold. We get it. I get it.  But no one deserved to get this…

Rush hour coming home on the subway. It’s a little more crowded than usual, and that is saying something, because it’s Saint Patrick’s Day and remnants of celebrants are loudly finding their way home. I am sharing what is typically considered a four person seat, with another woman and a guy who has chosen to sit akimbo, aka “manspreading” so the seat is only holding three people. The largest space is between the manspreader and I, still it is not a lot a space. Only a child or a someone really slim might be comfortable there.

As I am reading my book and listening to my iPod, I notice a shadow crosses my page. I look up and a man stands there, using hand gestures that he wants to sit. I am already up against the sidebar of the seat nearest the door; there is no place for me to move. I look at the space, I look at the manspreader, I look at this guy who clearly cannot fit in that spot, shrug and go back to my book. A moment later I am suddenly squeezed further into the sidebar, he reeked of alcohol and clearly needed the seat as the man has decided he is going to sit in that space, whether he can actually fit or not. Emphasis is fully on the or not in this case as the manspreader lets out an expletive and readjusts the angle of his spreading by some minuscule amount, but does not get up and neither do I. I do not know how the woman on the other side of the manspeader was faring, but this guy could not possibly have been comfortable so squashed in the space, with his arms overlaying ours, totally invading what little sense of personal space possible in such a setting. Knowing my commute, the odds were that I would be on the train long after he left, so I was all set to stand, well sit, my ground when Manspreader started yelling.

“Oh hell no! You have to get up off of me!” Manspreader exclaimed and pushed the guy’s arm off. I quickly looked at my arm. This guys was sweating so much, that in the less than two minutes in which he sat there, his sweat was dripping unto us.


I had on a jacket so I didn’t feel anything, but I could see it. I pulled a tissue out of my bag and wiped my arm. Yup, there was sweat on the tissue and it was not mine. It was only slightly better than Manspreader who had a clear stain on his shirt sleeve that was going to dry there.

Ewww, gross! 

Okay, it is one thing when on the subway and your arm is raised grabbing a pole and everyone can see the sweat stains through your shirt. It’s not the prettiest thing, but it’s par the oft times odious course of mass transit in summer weather. Still there is an implicit code of keep your sweat to yourself. This guy clearly did not get the memo. Sweaty Guy glanced at Manspreader, his lips pressed together as if to keep from speaking, then he looked at me, his body did a sort of jerk move.  I don’t know why, but I stood.

“Don’t give up your seat to this sweating pig!  Why the hell would you squeeze your ass into a spot you know you can’t fit putting your dripping sweat, directly upon complete strangers?  That’s fucking disgusting!” Manspreader was pissed!  Sweaty guy would not respond and that just ticked Manspreader off more as he continued berating the man.

Now here’s a subway fact: I don’t care how packed as a sardine can a subway car may be, when someone starts yelling the way Manspreader was yelling out Sweaty Guy, it’s a Christmas Miracle how space suddenly opens up around you. I was now standing off to the side, more in front of Manspreader than Sweaty Guy, as the train pulled into a station with a sharp jerk.  I saw the Sweaty Guy’s face and knew.

Oh no! Oh no! Oh no! Oh no! Noooooo! 

Everything in my body said “MOVE!”  I grabbed Manspreader by the front of his shirt, yanking him out of his seat while trying to shove backwards through the understandably upset crowd.

And there he blows!

I suddenly had no trouble making space as Sweaty Guy started tossing a couple of factories’ worth of cookies. While I just barely saved Manspreader; regrettably the poor woman who had sat on the other side of Manspreader wasn’t so lucky. The momentum of my pulling Manspreader up caused the two of them to lean into each other’s directions. By the time registered what was happening, she could not move out of the way fast enough as he slide sideways on the seat into her.  She started screaming and those of us closest were backing away from the both of them. One would have thought a murder scene was commencing the way people reacted, running out of the line of fire.

Those by the door closest to Sweaty Guy started running off the train itself as the doors opened, plowing into those trying to get on. Some brave souls in the further corners of the subway car away from Sweaty Guy  were going to stick it out and stayed where they were. Other passengers entering the car, seeing, and smelling, the mess then immediately exiting added to the chaos. Were it not so foul, especially for Sweaty Guy, all that missing was the accompaniment of “Yakety Sax“.

The subway car had to empty out once it became evident Sweaty Guy had purged from everywhere possible.  I will spare you further details other than to say it was not pretty. Worse we were at a station without transfer points. That means nothing else was coming up that track  until Sweaty Guy was taken care of.  I’m still a good half hour away from home. What to do:

  • Do I go back downtown to transfer to a train on another line, which would likely add another hour?
  • Do I exit the train and take the bus uptown, which would likely add another hour?
  • Do I take a cab?
  • Do I wait it out?

The poor woman who caught Sweaty Guy’s cookies ran out of the station. Manspreader was standing at the door switching between berating Sweaty Guy or general bitching about the situation. Other passengers who were stuck were either debating their options or complaining about Sweaty Guy with each other or on their cell phones. Because that’s what people do when in such a situation.

Yes, it’s St. Paddy’s day and it’s all part and parcel  of being a mass transit commuter. Still, on any day grown people allowing themselves to get that drunk, and thus that sick, to then get on the sometimes slightly less jostling than bumper cars, that is a ride on a NYC subway is a recipe for disaster guaranteed to generate a less than stellar moment in one’s life and be the cause of the following notification email…

MTA - sick

n/b 2 and 3 trains are running with delays, due to a sick passenger at ——. Allow additional travel time.

…which I received while still standing on the platform waiting for Sweaty Guy to be attended.

Throughout this Sweaty Guy is lying on the floor in his own filth, dry heaving and sobbing.


I actually felt a little sorry for him. But only just a little. As my cousin is wont to say “You brought this on yourself!”

Yeah, I’m done waiting – it’s taxi time.

End scene…



Slice of Life Writing Challenge Day 17 – Two Writing Teachers